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Some people have a great deal of experience with the criminal justice system, but most do not. Unless your career is in criminal justice, or you yourself have been a defendant in a criminal case, you likely do not have a lot of firsthand experience. This is one of many reasons why it is a good reason to know a criminal defense attorney nearby in Cincinnati.

As one sage parent once said, “Wherever I live, I want to have the number of a reputable criminal defense attorney near me.”

But what does a criminal defense attorney do?

Here are five primary responsibilities of your local criminal defense attorney:

  1. Your criminal defense lawyer researches the facts

You want a cool-headed, impartial investigator checking out the scene and calmly assessing the situation in hindsight. There may be mitigating circumstances you have not considered. A huge part of any investigation, of course, is simply knowing which questions to ask. A lawyer with copious experience in criminal defense knows what details can make a defense case rise or fall. The criminal defense attorneys of Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller have been victorious in many defense cases, and have a keen sense for choosing methods of inquiry.

  1. Your criminal defense attorney negotiates deals on your behalf

The prosecutor of the case may be able to offer you a plea deal. It could reduce your bail, your charges, or your sentence. In television shows about court cases, we do not often see story lines about plea deals. (After all, a negotiated settlement is relatively free of conflict and therefore not the most dramatic resolution.) However, these plea deals are more common that you may think. If a plea deal is possible, and beneficial to you, your legal representative from Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller can help you approach that realm of possibility.

  1. Your criminal defense attorney examines witnesses

Who are these witnesses? Who can question them? Might a witness be disproven or discredited? Your attorney handles all of this for you. Choosing and vetting the right witnesses can make or break a criminal defense case. Vetting witnesses is an often overlooked, but absolutely essential, part of any strong defense strategy.

In some criminal trials, the choice of witnesses can make or break the defense’s case. A credible witness from the prosecution that should not have been allowed to testify – for whatever reason – may ruin an otherwise watertight defense.

On the other side of that, an appropriate character witness that can testify to your strength of character and honesty can be an unquestionably valuable addition to your defense case. A witness who observed the situation at hand and can reinforce and vouch for your story can make a considerable difference in the eyes of the judge and jury as well.

  1. Your criminal defense attorney assesses potential sentences

Knowing the reality of your situation is key. Which judge you have, and the track record of that judge, can make a huge difference in knowing how harshly the court may treat you if you are found guilty. The entire strategy of a criminal defense case may rest on an understanding of a particular judge’s track record and disposition. Also, it helps to be able to predict — in rough terms — the type of sentences a given judge dispenses. The team of experienced defense attorneys at Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller know the judges in the Greater Cincinnati region well. Entering a trial with a full understanding of the key people involved can make a significant difference in the way your attorneys approach the defense.

  1. Your criminal defense attorney represents you at trial

If you cannot reach a plea deal, then your case will likely go before the court. You want someone representing you who can craft a compelling, clear case. An attorney that can create a relatable, understandable narrative is much more likely to persuade a jury.

The ability of a great criminal defense lawyer to present your story in a simple, persuasive manner is priceless. Presenting your understanding of the situation requires not only communication skills, but strategic understanding. It calls for empathy, and an ability to put oneself in the shoes of a jurist or a judge.

Having a connection to a reputable criminal defense attorney that is based near you can be invaluable. Many defense cases lose in court, but would have been won if the defendants had simply had a stronger legal team in their corner. A shrewd legal strategy often wins the day, in all varieties of criminal defense cases. If you are in need of representation, contact the attorneys at Donnellon, Donnellon and Miller.